Question: When we meditate you ask us to keep our eyes open and look at you. But so many times the physical world disappears and I have to make an effort to bring it back into focus.

Sri Chinmoy: Why do you have to bring it back? When did I say you have to look at me? I only ask you to keep your eyes open. If you keep your eyes open when I bring down Peace or Light, then immediately it convinces your physical mind. Otherwise, in the name of meditation you will enter into sleep, and no matter what I bring down you remain in the oblivion-world. If you keep your eyes open, how long can you daydream? An insect will come along and bite you. Somebody will make a noise. There are many things to keep you awake. But when you keep your eyes closed, automatically you are surrendering to a kind of sleep. You think you are meditating, but you are in the sleep world. If you can keep your eyes open, you can receive continuously. Otherwise, it is better to keep them half open. Some disciples keep their eyes open, but they are daydreaming. Some, as soon as they close their eyes, go to the other world.

When I first started meditating in 1944, for the first few months I was inwardly commanded to keep my eyes open. Then I developed the capacity to meditate with my eyes closed or open. But I feel that meditation with the eyes open is the meditation of the lion. If you can meditate with your eyes open, that means you are a lion. You can devour any wrong forces around you. If you keep your eyes closed, you are meditating like a cat. Anybody can come and devour you. When you have the lion-meditation, you can see a monkey moving around and you are not affected. But if you keep your eyes closed and somebody touches you, you may think that somebody has come to stab you and be frightened to death.